Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Hudson faces Snyder in Republican race for Porter County assessor nomination

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By KEVIN NEVERS

In the primary election on Tuesday, May 4, Republican candidates Gail D. Hudson and Jon M. Snyder will vie for the nomination for Porter County Assessor. The Chesterton Tribune invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires.

The Tribune set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.

(1) Age, place of residence, and occupation.

Hudson: 57, Valparaiso, Porter County Deputy Assessor.

Snyder: 33, Portage, State Certified Appraiser, IN & IL

(2) Describe the Porter County Assessorís responsibilities and explain why you are seeking the office. (100 words)

Hudson: The duty of the County Assessor is to identify, list, and calculate the assessed value of real and personal property within the county in a timely manner. The Assessor processes appeals, determines which properties are tax-exempt, takes filings for and calculates inheritance tax, and verifies sales disclosure information. I am seeking office because I work with the concerns and issues of the taxpayers every day and know what changes need to be made. I will strive to prevent errors in the assessment process that can lead to inaccurate tax bills and appeals.

Snyder: The main responsibilities of the Assessor are: to execute countywide equalization in order to assure uniform and equitable assessments for property owners, oversee the General Reassessment process, serve as member /secretary of PTABOA, calculate the total assessed value of each taxing district and transmit this information to the auditor, choose assessment software, review and oversee the reporting of personal property. I am seeking this office because I feel that current county government has failed the people of Porter County and that new leadership is needed to properly assess each taxable unit during troubling economic times.

(3) Are you qualified and certified to serve as Porter County Assessor? (100 words)

Hudson: I am qualified to fulfill the duties of County Assessor more than someone from the private sector who has no experience in that office. I have worked in the Assessor's Office as a Deputy Assessor since 2001. I received my Level II Assessor's Certification in 2008, and am currently enrolled to take classes for my Level III Certification. As a Deputy Assessor I am familiar with all aspects of the County Assessor's duties and the software system.

Snyder: I have been a Certified State Appraiser for over 12 years. I have appraised millions of dollars in Porter County without any question as to the integrity and accuracy of my reports. I have taken several hundred hours of classes in regards the appraisal process and methods. I have been a small business owner in Porter County for over 10 years. I hold a level 2 Appraiser-Assessor certification required by the state to be a candidate for assessor.

(4) What are the main issues in the race? (100 words)

Hudson: The main issues are accurate assessments and the delays in the current appeal process. Taxpayers need to know that as your Assessor, I will be working on your behalf to ensure assessments are correct. The current appeal process can be addressed by holding additional hearings to accommodate the taxpayer's time and needs until the backlog is dealt with.

Snyder: I believe that Porter County government has not been responsible with dollars that have been entrusted to it by taxpayers in our county. There is no excuse for Porter County to be in the bottom five counties in our state to have assessments completed on time. This has caused a delay in tax bills being sent on time for three of the last four years. Also the appeals process is confusing and lengthy. The Internet could be a great tool to assist tax payers in the appeals process. Appeals should not take over a year to complete.

(5) How would you avoid mistakes or delays in applying Indianaís assessment laws? (50 words)

Hudson: Mistakes can be prevented by working with the software vendor to correct errors as they are discovered and ensuring the most up to date information is entered for annual trending. Delays can be avoided by working with the Auditor and Treasurer to meet Data Compliance deadlines established by the state.

Snyder: With my experience as an appraiser I can identify mistakes quickly and correct them. I work with deadlines every day and this experience has prepared me to meet the demands of completing assessments timely. This will be a priority and I will demand excellence from myself and from my staff.

(6) Is there local flexibility in the assessment process or is it a wholly state-regulated function? (50 words)

Hudson: The assessment process and other functions of the Assessor's Office are regulated by state statutes and guidelines. The Assessor has some local flexibility to work with the taxpayer to correct errors in their assessment in order to avoid an appeal.

Snyder: Assessments are becoming more and more a state-regulated function. However, I believe that there is local flexibility. For example, the Assessor is allowed to get assistance for mass appraisal functions and difficult properties such as a steel mill. I would utilize local competent professionals to assist in these tasks.

(7) Do you expect to ask the Porter County Council for additional funds or employees to fulfill your responsibilities? (50 words)

Hudson: I have no plans to ask for additional funds or personnel to fulfill my responsibilities as County Assessor. There is ample staff to handle the workload. It should be every county office holderís goal to avoid unnecessary spending in order to use taxpayer money efficiently and keep tax rates down.

Snyder: I believe in smaller, more limited government so I would not like to ask for additional funds. One of my goals would be to examine the budget and see what wasteful spending could be eliminated to save money.

 

Posted 4/7/2010

 

 

 

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